Ecosia displays greenwashing in its search results

Ecosia displays greenwashing in its search results

Posted on October 25, 2022

Ecosia’s search engine deals with greenwashing by displaying a climate compliance score next to search results. Target? Helping Internet users orient themselves towards the most virtuous companies.

Online shopping, social networking, nights around the chain… A large part of our life today revolves around the Internet. And even on the Internet, our activities can be more or less virtuous. The Ecosia search engine, known for its commitment to planting trees, is on a mission to help users find the most environmentally friendly businesses. For this, it has been shown since Monday, October 24, 2022 a The degree of commitment to the climate comp.

“We want to enable our users to make more informed decisions about the topic of climate, on a daily basis and in a simple way. This requires making climate information more accessible,” explains Ecosia. The indicator, which works with Techniche Universität Berlin, takes into account levelAmbition for the company and Transparency regarding the measures to be taken to achieve this.

Ambitious and credible commitments

To get the best score, a company must commit to reducing at least 50% of its greenhouse gas emissions, both direct and indirect, by 2030, and offset the remaining emissions. The rating drops if actions aren’t detailed enough, dropping to an F.” For example, Microsoft is committed to reducing global emissions by more than 50% by 2030, but doesn’t yet show a track record of being able to do so. Give them a “B” in our methodology, Ecosia says.

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The number of people affected can be significant. According to Ecosia, 20 million users use Ecosia every month, including 4 million in France, with a total of almost 500 million searches. But the registration work takes a long time. Currently, the 17 most searched companies are ranked only on Ecosia, and they are listed on University report.

Double your media

“Explaining a company’s climate commitment and its actual impact is often complex, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and hampered by a lack of transparency and information,” Ecosia argues. However, the company has simplified the process as much as possible, removing current efforts to reduce emissions and the virtuous or otherwise of the business model from the analysis.

This is why Ecosia doubles down on ways to inform its users. In 2019, two symbols have already emerged: the green paper for certain companies that benefit from environmental labels, and the coal plant for companies that emit the most greenhouse gases. Countries have also been treated to a colored stamp displaying their level of commitment, depending on whether they are following a path of warming of less than 1.5 degrees or more than 4 degrees, according to the results of the Climate Action Tracker. In France, Nota Climat seeks to integrate into Ecosia’s search results.

Fanny Brioneval

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